Notes: The second generation Durango was introduced in 2004 and instantly came under fire for, well, catching on fire.

From 2004-2006 electrical overloading in the driver's side instrument panel caused numerous reports of interior fires. The interior infernos became so commonplace that Chrysler eventually issued a recall.

The problems didn't stop there, however. Owners of the recalled vehicles complained about being treated unfairly and given take-it-or-leave-it low ball settlement offers. "They offered me $2000 under NADA retail as a settlement," said one owner, "and have been rude and hostile to deal with." Nothing says awesome service like treating your customers rudely after their cars have caught on fire.

Have we mentioned all the reports of complete engine failure due to oil sludge?


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
115,100 miles
Total Complaints:
145 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (108 reports)
  2. not sure (15 reports)
  3. replace engine or junk it (13 reports)
  4. Dodge recalls due to design flaw (4 reports)
  5. gave to charity (2 reports)
  6. replace cowl to prevent engine hydrolock (1 reports)
2004 Dodge Durango engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Dodge Durango:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 1 of 8)

problem #145

Feb 082019

Durango SLT 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 195,000 miles


I went outside on February 8th, 2019, 9:30am, to start the vehicle up and let it warm up, before I went to town! Then the next thing I hear, is a clattering noise, so loud you can't hardly hear anything else, but the vehicle.

My gripe is I've spent $5,000 in fixing up this vehicle and I can't drive it more than by 5 months and I'm really disappointed in Dodge/Chrysler! This was supposed to be my forever vehicle! So now, I'm searching for another vehicle but I'm probably not going to be buying a Dodge! I've been a Mopar person on my life! Mopar is like my first love and I've never been more disappointed in anything ever than I am in Dodge right now!

- Kelly F., Coatesville, IN, US

problem #144

Dec 212018

Durango SLT 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,500 miles

Well, all I can do is bitch about it, so here goes. My wife and I bought a 2004 Durango SLT with a 5.7 Hemi 5 years ago with 39K miles on it. We knew the person we bought it from and knew that it had been well-serviced its whole life and I remember thinking "What a good deal". HAAA!!!!! So, we bought my wife a new Honda CR-V for Christmas and with my son just having turned 15, I thought that the Durango only has 96K miles on it and has been serviced religiously .... this thing ought to get him through college. It didn't get him through Christmas. It threw a rod at 96K and the cost of a used motor was $2800. Apparently, there is a high demand for a junkyard Hemi. The body and remainder of the drivetrain were still in great shape and knowing that I wouldn't get diddly for it with a rod thrown clear through the block, I had little option than to put a re-manufactured engine in it. I get that it's out of warranty but with sooooo many people having the same issue, there should be some sort of recall or.... Hell, if they would even admit that there was a design f-up and handle on a case by case issue. I like the style of the new Dodge Ram but would never buy one. I put 200K on my last Silverado and never had the first problem with it.

- Josh M., Westminster, US

problem #143

Dec 262018

Durango SLT 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Have owned 7 Dodge products still have three. 2004 Dodge Durango blew engine day after Christmas 2018 went to start suv up and engine made loud knocking noise shut suv off and raised hood to see hole in block the size of your fist Have had water leak problems in the past due to faulty gaskets around front window and cowl, recent rain leaked into dash and caused radio to short out along with starter which ruined battery cost to repair over $1250.00 Have looked high and low .north and south for an engine, there are none because everybody is trying to find one at a junk yard. The ones that you find cost $2500.00 with no warranty. New engines cost more than the suv is worth When engine was inspected after it was removed there was considerable rust on top of engine where water had been standing

Have been religious about service every 3000 miles and have all invoices since purchased from same dealership so service was not the cause of this demise

Talked to Brandi @ Dodgechat and she said they were sorry for my problems but have a good day! The car was out of warranty and over on the mileage. Well, after looking at this website there seems to be many others that have experienced the same failure and Dodge needs to step up to the plate It is time to file a class action lawsuit to get this $$$$$$$ issue resolved and get some relief

James F Providence Forge Va

Update from Jan 22, 2019: Anybody out there want to jump in?

- James F., providence forge, US

problem #142

Mar 152018

Durango SLT 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,000 miles


On the way to work, I get in my truck and attempt to start it, it doesn’t start. I try again and it cranks and turns off, third time it turns on but there was a loud knocking sound, I immediately knew my engine was blown, mechanic said the piston arm broken. Luckily I got an extended warranty with the truck.

- Nicholas D., Denver, US

problem #141

Jan 082019

Durango Limited 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Dodge Hemi has claimed another victim. Only 130K miles and a rod blew through the side of the block! We took such good care of the engine. Religiously changed oil, used ONLY synthetic. So angry about this! We are retired and we were really angry about how much RUST was on Durango's but to have LOST a Hemi engine at only 130K miles is absolutely MOPAR's fault. Of course since they are NOW ((F)IX (I)T (A)GAIN (T)ONY . HELL will freeze over before they will ever admit this is their fault. We purchased this vehicle NEW and did that ONLY because of the HEMI's reputation to go 250K to over 300K miles with no problem if it was cared for. BOY were we wronged! The body of the Durango is NOT worth keeping so needless to say this one goes to the JUNK YARD! We will NEVER .... EVER BUY ANOTHER DODGE/CHRYSLER PRODUCT and this was long before TONY put his hands on it. I am waiting for a class action suit to be filed..... PLEASE people KEEP COMPLAINING.... that's the only way the SQUEAKY WHEEL WILL GET THE GREASE!

- Diane R., West Bend, WI, US

problem #140

Apr 162018

Durango Limited V8 Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,115 miles

This is a huge mahalo for saving an unsuspecting buyer from a real catastrophe. I found this great looking, low mileage , powerful vehicle on Craigslist for a very affordable price. I gave it a test drive and it seemed in almost mint condition. It was just too good to be true, so I hesitated. I decided to do some further homework, beyond the usual car buying sites, and VIN report. I found CarComplaints after a general search for 2004 Durango Hemi reviews. There I discovered a very troubling tendency for this vehicle to hydrolock, along with detailed descriptions of the design flaw that caused it. I was really torn, but delayed my decision too long, and the listing was deleted. I was kicking myself. Then it appeared again! It was listed for a $600, it had a blown engine! Without this timely, reliable and comprehensive information, I would have made a possibly dangerous mistake. I won`t be buying any car without first researching it on CarComplaints. Again, much mahalo, and keep up the good work!

- Nancy W., Honolulu, US

problem #139

Jan 252018

Durango ES Ddd

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,204 miles


After going through a ZIP Car Wash, the engine started knocking. It has been determined to be a rod knocking. Seems to be a common problem. Will Dodge stand behind the repair?

- Harold H., Shreveport, US

problem #138

Aug 212017

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

Apparently it is normal for a Dodge Durango to throw a rod at 120,000 miles. Dodge need to recall this and fix it. It makes me ashamed to own an American made car. Just a waste of money.

- acwilli, Sevierville, US

problem #137

Mar 152016

Durango 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

So, I bought my Durango and absolutely loved it!! Still do, but now it is a lawn ornament rather than being driven everyday. When I first bought it I took it through a car wash and it stalled and shut down wouldn't start but then we got it started and didn't have any issues. One night I parked it and it was raining through out the night off and on and then the next morning I went to start it to go to work, it was making an awful sound so I shut it off and then tried it again still making an awful clanky sound. called the dodge dealer that was only 5 miles from the house they came and picked it up, they determined that a seal had gone bad (that was at the fault of dodge, as mine wasn't the first) and had ruined my engine in my beloved Durango! I HAVE filed a formal complaint with dodge who claims they had no knowledge of the situation. which has to be false, so Im asking everyone to go to and open a live chat with a representative, and file a formal complaint. I went as far as stating that maybe there should be a law suit for the simple fact that our engines were trashed and cost us thousands of dollars in repairs for a simple seal! its bullshit!!

- Ashlee R., Morning Sun, IA, US

problem #136

Nov 252016

Durango SLT 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

About a month ago, my 2004 Durango started having a loud knocking sound. I took it to 2 different mechanics for opinions and I was told by one of them to do an oil change, then do another after maybe 1000 miles or so and see if that would loosen up whatever may be in the engine before spending a buttload of money taking the engine apart. I had the oil changed, and even put in Marvel Mystery oil in the car. Fast forward to 2 days ago......I wanted to start the Durango just to warm it up because it had been sitting idle for over 2 days, and the last time it sat idle for 2-3 days, I had to try a few times to get it to turn over. When I turned it over, I heard a horrible clanking sound, as if there were rods and ball bearings and rocks inside the engine. I knew it was toast.

I got online after talking to a much more knowledgeable person than me about cars, and found an insane number of people who had the same EXACT symptoms and end result. This pissed me off beyond belief. I cannot for one second figure out why Dodge has done ZIP about this obvious goddamn issue. The symptoms are exactly the same (Shuddering or rough idling and stalling during rain, water pouring over the top of the engine because of the piss poor cowling, etc...) I am going over to my local Dodge dealer's Service Dept. in the morning to confront the manager just to see what complete B.S. response I will get. I can hardly wait. I have no idea what kind of cost I'm looking at yet, as I have not had the car towed to a mechanic. I'm praying that I can find a connection to someone who wants to do a side job and save me a few thousand.

- Jeff S., Beaverton, OR, US

problem #135

Jul 312016

Durango SLT 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,287 miles


Well, it looks like the hydrolock issue claims another victim today... I was completely unaware of this issue about 3 hours ago, when, during a mild rain storm I hopped in the Durango to go to the store. The motor turned over fine, then made a very bad noise, obvious to me as a thrown rod/rod bearing. I used my google-fu and came across DOZENS of instances of thrown rods during rain/ carwash. Looking into it further, it appears there is a bad o-ring on the (miserably designed) intake manifold causing hydrolock when you go to start your motor.

I have owned this vehicle for nearly 5 years with very few other problems because I proudly maintain my vehicles, but Chrysler wanted to save a few pennies and not issue a recall on a couple hundred dollar part, instead I am faced with spending about 8k to fix it (everything is more expensive in Alaska, including man hours) or send it to the junk yard.

- Cohl S., Fort Wainwright, AK, US

problem #134

Jul 082016

Durango Limited 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

I have had this car for 11 years and have had all regular maintenance done at the Dodge dealer we bought it from. Exterior and interior still in excellent shape. Love this vehicle. Drives wonderfully and ran great. Only problem is for about the last 2 years when we would go through car wash it would die and be difficult to start and would miss for a short time. Or if we were driving in heavy rain is would miss and shudder some.

The car was parked inside of our garage when not in use. Due to remodeling and having to use garage for storage it has had to set outside. On the 7th of July we made a trip to the airport 2 hours away and the car ran wonderful to and from. Ran errands and parked the car. We had drenching rain storm Thursday night and Friday morning. Went out in the afternoon to go run errands. The motor made a horrendous banging noise and I immediately turned it off. We had it towed to our mechanic shop and he said the motor is toast.

In his research found many of the same vehicle with same motor for sale with blown motors. Went to this website and began reading all the complaints about this motor failure. I am sure that my motor failure has been caused by the same problem as the other complaints. And that he problem is that due to the wiper cowling allowing water onto the block and ultimately into the intake system, causing"Hydrolock".

I agree with that this should have been a recall issue. And this problem has caused much financial hardship on many people when it could have been fixed and we would all be enjoying our 2004 Durangos with their Hemi engines for a long, long time. My husband is physically disabled and it is hard to find a vehicle that he can comfortably ride in and drive. Financially it is going to be hard to fine something else and this time, as much as we enjoyed driving our Dodge, it will not be a Dodge.

- bjnoon, Tenino, WA, US

problem #133

Jun 112016

Durango LX 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 185,000 miles

Vehicle immaculately maintained. Engine stumbled after raining or car wash. Today, warm engine, started in parking lot and immediately blew out a connecting rod thru the block. Totally destroyed the engine....

Research shows that this is an ongoing problem with the '04 Durangos with the 5.7 litre engine. Apparently, the wiper cowling allows water onto the block and, ultimately into the intake system, causing "Hydrolock."

As water is NOT compressible, the engine become a hand grenade....which mine did. Connecting rod thru the block. I am now faced with $5-7 thousand dollars for an engine replacement!

I spoke with a representative,,,Case File # 29486225. Nice lady, but she had nothing for me.

Here is the site with EXACTLY the same problems as I encountered. Perhaps you might want to peruse it. It ALL deals with Hydrolock and catastrophic engine failures as a result.

I would hope & expect that you can give me some relief for what SHOULD have been a recall...but, to date, Chrysler/Dodge has ignored the problem.

I have been a Dodge owner for over 30 years. Frankly, I would like to remain so, but your actions on this matter will ultimately dictate that. I buy Dodge not only for my personal vehicles, but also for my business vehicles.

Kind Regards~Steve & Diane Pontious 409-504-1663

- pontious, Beaumont, US

problem #132

Apr 272016

Durango SLT 5.7L Hemi

  • Manual transmission
  • 122,024 miles

We purchased a 2004 Dodge Durango SLT in the summer of 2013. This was a nice running truck until it rained. When it rains the engine hesitated. We have taken good care of our Durango, we kept up on regular maintenance.

We had a big storm on Tuesday the 26th of April. I went out to start it the day after to take my kids somewhere. It wouldn't start, it clonked three times. I turned it off immediately. My husband looked at it later that day, since we couldn't take it to the mechanic. As he was looking underneath he discovered it was now leaking oil. As he further investigated he noticed a hole in the engine block; it is hydrolocked. Which seems to be popular for these engines in this model and year of the Durango's.

We have read many things online with people having the same problem. So it is very unfortunate that this happened. This SUV only has 122k miles on it. We have always been Dodge fans, but I am starting to question that!!

Update from Jul 22, 2016: How can we file a class action suit against them?

- dbrr-russ, Kansas City, KS, US

problem #131

Jan 122016

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Got in my Durango two week's ago to leave work. Engine was warmed up and I left, made it almost home, and heard a pop sound, so I turned the radio off, and it sounded like someone hitting the hood with a baseball bat!!! Broke a rod, and sent it through the oil pan, fortunate it didn't grenade the block, so it is savable.

I bought a 2005 motor from a salvage yard with 100,000 miles on it for 2k, which was a deal, and happened to be the only one I could find in the state! I had already replaced the cowl seal, and only ran Mobil 1 in it, this is complete BS on Dodges part, because obviously there is a problem with there design!

I am a Mopar fan to the end, and have never had problems with any other Chrysler product I own, but this POS is really testing my loyalty. Now I have a spare engine in need of a lower end rebuild that will probably make it's way into my 69 Dodge Dart, 4K later!

- jtkaaa07, Neenah, WI, US

problem #130

Jun 012015

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,771 miles

Driving down route 95 in a rainstorm our Durango stalled out. We went to Advanced Auto and had them check the battery- but they said the battery was great. Drove home. The next morning we went to move it and it backfired and the engine died. Upon looking under the hood we saw a hole in the block. We called everywhere for a new engine but they were so much money.

We found 5.7 hemi vin D's at junkyards but no one could verify if they still worked or if they were in the same condition as ours. When we did find one most people knew there was a market for them and were asking outrageous prices. We finally found someone selling one online who said they had a video of it working before removing it from the vehicle. We bought it and started installing it. Oil pan gasket, oil pan, exhaust manifold gasket and bolts, hydraulic lines on rack, pinion steering, and crank position sensor.

All of these months sharing a car with my wife and today, I finally have it back.(almost five months later) The installed motor has about the same miles on it so hoping we can get at least two to three years out of it. We took care of our Durango. We used a beater car for daily use and used our Durango for special occasions like skiing, when we all needed to go out to eat in the same car, etc.. So for this to happen was upsetting.

Update from Jan 8, 2016: We ordered a new cowl. What we've found is that the cowl's start to deteriorate after ten or so years. It then allows water to flow into the engine causing the well documented hydrolock, which we experienced.

Others are aware of the cowl issue as we had to wait almost five weeks for it to arrive. Most places stated that dealers were ordering this in bulk. I wondered if it was going to be a recall soon?? None the less, replaced it and the vehicle is running smooth again- even in the rain!!

- Brian F., Mountain Top, PA, US

problem #129

Nov 302015

Durango Limited 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,300 miles

Driving at 5:30am, turned a corner and heard a pop + clunking noise. Had the vehicle taken to the local repair shop and found out that the piston had busted through the side of the engine. Apparently, this is becoming a common problem for this the 5.7l v8 Hemi with no other signs but, a single issue if you run through the car wash, it will have trouble starting.

I now know why I will never buy another or recommend another DODGE to anyone I care about, cheap parts that do not last. After I CarFaxed the vehicle I learned of a whole lot of issues concerning this and other Dodge vehicles. Caveat Emptor people.

For a mechanic to fix would cost between $4000 - $6500. I just paid cash $3700 including tax and title for this beautiful lawn ornament.

- groveroh, New Marshfield, OH, US

problem #128

Nov 272015

Durango 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

Tried to start in the morning during rain, but engine made loud knocking sound and I did not try to start again. After towing, found two pieces of engine on pavement and found out that rod went through side. Still waiting to see what cost to replace engine, so not sure what decision will be made to fix or replace. Had symptoms of sometimes shaking during rain and now see that this is a consistent problem with many others. yes, I agree that Chrysler should have sent out warning and issued recall with this hydro-lock problem on 2004 Durango. Like everyone else, I can never again purchase a Chrysler product.

- Randy D., joplin, US

problem #127

Mar 162011

Durango Limited 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,460 miles

I just found this site by accident and apparently I am a lucky one.

In 2011 our '04 Hemi Durango threw a #1 piston rod. I thought maybe pulling a travel trailer in "05 from Philly to Moab going 80 MPH across Kansas trying to out run some nasty weather might have been at the root of the engine failure. The dealer did not mention a hydraulic issue.

Lucky cause we had 400 miles left on the 80,000 mi extended warranty in 2011 when the wife told me of a terrible noise when she tried to start it. Still cost a couple of hundred for incidentals but all in all I feel like I hit the lottery in not having to pay $5500 for new engine and it was in the driveway when it failed to start.

Great web site - Great video post of the issue. I will check if they fixed the water intrusion issue

- fredfons, Philadelphia PA, PA, US

problem #126

Jul 202015

Durango SLT 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,800 miles

Engine started making noise after a long rain storm. Took it to our mechanic and it was hydro-locked. Had to replace the engine since my wife loved the vehicle so much. With replacing the intake, and all the other parts that needed replacing it came to around 7000 dollars which with the mileage and condition is just about what the whole thing is worth blue book.

- Harvey R., Stafford, VA, US

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?